The photographic exhibition ‘Cacao, the fine aroma of our identity’ will be open until the end of May, in Montecristi. It is located in the Ciudad Alfaro Civic Center. It is part of the program for the National Day of Cultural Heritage, which is celebrated on April 18 of each year.
The sample consists of 24 photographs, through which the public is expected to know and begin to value one of the emblematic products of Ecuador, cocoa. The visitors of educational establishments and citizens in general that attend the exhibition will be able to know more about the uses and traditional knowledge associated with the production of this fruit.
Ecuador has been one of the main producers and exporters of fine aroma cocoa, which is why it is an input that is part of the territorial identity. As well as chocolate, being its main elaborated product.
In 2017, the country was ranked fourth in the list of cocoa producers. Despite this, the national population barely consumes 300 grams of chocolate per year, while in Europe it reaches 12,000 grams (40 times more).
In the photos it is possible to visualize what cocoa has meant in economic, demographic and political, as well as cultural transformations. In the most recent archaeological discoveries it is established that in Zamora Chinchipe the oldest traces of the use of cocoa in America were found.
The event occurred 5 300 years ago. The research was published in the last months of 2018 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. It is reported that the first uses of seeds moved 1 500 years earlier than previously thought. It was also announced that the members of the Mayo Chinchipe culture lived in the archaeological site called Santa Ana-La Flora, in Zamora Chinchipe.
Even cocoa is part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ecuador, which includes 17 manifestations. This was recalled by the Minister of Culture and Heritage, Raúl Pérez Torres.
Cocoa is a representative product of several manabitas cantons and has been the source of income for their families. That’s why it’s symbolic that the show is in Montecristi. (I)